January 13, 2019 Receive the Forgiveness of Your Sins (Mark 2:1-12)
to save mankind of their sins, (Matthew 1:21)
He gave them faith, which brings about the forgiveness of sins.
This faith is Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:16).
Within all heaven and earth, there is only One who can forgive sins.
He is God alone. (Matthew 9:8)
God is righteous, and so He has become the Light.
All darkness is driven out in the presence of the Light (John 1:5).
He saves those who are buried in the darkness.
This Light shines itself in the world,
and this Light is Jesus Christ (John 8:12).
Jesus is the Righteous One who has come as the Light (John 16:10).
God is Righteousness,
and the One whom He has sent is Righteousness.
Unrighteousness cannot prevail against Righteousness but will flee.
God is Righteousness, and He is the Father.
When He commands us to receive the forgiveness of sins,
He is commanding us to be filled with the Righteousness of God.
The one who possesses the Righteousness of God will overcome all things.
○ The diseases and sufferings of man are all the fruits of unrighteousness.
If one has been justified by receiving the forgiveness of sins,
the power of God will be manifested.
○ To receive the forgiveness of sins and to be healed of diseases are identical:
If one receives the forgiveness of sins, one will be healed of diseases.
One will become free when one receives the forgiveness of sins.
○The healing of diseases does not come first.
What comes first is being justified.
It is God alone who can give justification.
※ What one must seek for in prayer before all else
is to seek first the Righteousness of God.
The Righteousness of God is the Light of God.
From time to time, there come in some requests in which I am invited to speak a message to inspire the youth with vision. Of course, I always hope that there are those among the youth who will have great promise. I even expect some of them to have a good understanding of the world. But the reality, often, is that they are a generation that are lacking in experience. Therefore, I try to speak words of encouragement and insight whenever I have an opportunity to meet with them. And when I do speak to them, I always have a particular message through which they can gain this vision.
In the past, I remember one leader of a particular church denomination that had been invited to speak to an audience of many youths. He had been invited with the request to give a message to them. And what the speaker had told the youths was, quite predictably, that they ‘must have a vision’. But what I had always wondered was whether the speaker had any vision himself? The people around him had grumbled, “This man is more interested in his own food, that in the administration of the church, so what kind of vision can this man possibly give them?’ They would secretly grumble against him.
Hearing exciting messages about ‘vision’ can seem pleasant and likeable. But frankly speaking, this term, ‘vision’, in the original Korean, means to ‘pursue a dream’. So, if this is the case, what kind of dream should the youth pursue? The new year has just begun, and everyone makes a new resolution to pursue a worthy dream. But what kind of dream should one exactly have? When I myself am invited to speak a message to the youth, should I also, like others have done, tell them to ‘pursue a vision’? Or should I perhaps say something wise like, ‘Do not judge a book by its covers’?
I have, my whole life, made countless efforts to sow dreams into the youth. During the 1960s, I myself could not go to school, even though I had greatly wanted to. Nevertheless, I would bring two young people with me every year, people who were in humble circumstances like myself. I would arrange for them to go to Theological Seminary. I would give recommendations to them, I would provide them with registration fees. I would even provide fees for their housing arrangements. Some of these youths would desire to remain with me and help me do the work of God. Some of them would desire to go to regular universities.
Among these youths were those who would later become professors of prestigious universities. Others would become deans of graduate schools. And others would successfully become doctors and go abroad. But what was very special was that there were those who would become pastors to raise great churches. And, there were others who would still be grateful, even though they did not become pastors of great churches.
When we plead with the Lord Jesus and cry out to Him, saying, “Lord! Please give us vision!”, what would the Lord say? The Lord would speak to us, saying, “Do not seek what to eat, what to drink, and what to wear. Instead, seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you in abundance.”
What I have earnestly recommended to the youth is this message: “Learn during the precious time of your youth”. If you lose the opportunity to learn, you will end up losing it forever. For this very purpose, I have given provisions for the ‘Semuon Scholarship’. Students can attend the Berea International Theological Seminary in manageable fees; they can go to graduate school. I have arranged for so many of these provisions that they can purse all the studies they wish with relative ease at the Berea International Theological Seminary. The calling of the Lord is a precious opportunity. Only the one who enters aggressively into the Kingdom of God will be able to seize a hold of it. God will treat just like David, the one who makes the deliberate will and effort. God will give such a person His calling.